Video Cards and Related Technologies

The Chips

The chip is the heart of the video card. It is where all the processing is done. It also makes 3D acceleration possible. The chip is to the video card, what the processor is to the computer. Of the two major chip manufacturers, ATI and NVIDIA, the former is well known for high quality and great technology.


The information must travel through tunnels called ‘pipes’, before it can be converted. On one end it starts as raw data and ends up at the opposite end in a format that is compatible with the monitor. On its way, the data undergoes the conversion process. The greater the number of pipes, the more data that can be converted simultaneously.

The amount of data that a pipe can hold is called its Memory Interface. A pipe with a 128 bit interface can process more data than one with a 64 bit interface.


The memory is used to store temporary or transient information. Video information, being very data heavy, needs more memory. The two main types of memory are SDRAM and DDR RAM. DDR is superior as it can transmit information faster.

ATI Technology

An ATI card will offer many technologies that will significantly enhance your video experience. ATI’s cards are fully compatible with all the latest 3D technologies and do not rely on your computer’s CPU to process information, as do some of the entry-level cards.


This technology will unleash a new generation of visual effects on your computer. Realistic graphics with breathtaking 3D effects are possible with SmartShader™. DVD movies can be viewed to better effect with it too.


SmartVision® has the effect of removing jagged edges, improving the image, bringing its finer details to light.


This is the latest technology [] in video processing, which is particularly for the Internet and video playback processing. It greatly improves the quality and performance of streaming video.